My personal mission began with a focus on improving the lives of those touched by a cancer diagnosis. It has since grown to a larger vision and commitment to bring coaching skills into healthcare to help healthcare professionals like you to live their best lives and excel, even in the face of demanding circumstances.
For more than twenty years, I had a successful career in Hollywood. I was an award winning filmmaker and I had amazing experiences including producing films for National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. For several years, I ran the production company of a multi-talented actress, singer, dancer, and comedienne and I attended the Oscars not once, but four times.
So, why leave it all behind?
Why walk away, go back to school to train as a certified professional coach? Because, after losing the love of my life to cancer, I had to find something to bring meaning, purpose, and passion again to my life.
One year and three weeks after my late husband died from cancer, it finally sunk in that he wasn’t coming back. In that moment, even though it was the middle of a sunny day in Los Angeles, my world when dark. All I could see was black. It enveloped me, threatening to suffocate me. Most of me wanted to slip quietly into that darkness and never return.
This was hard to reconcile for me…someone who had always loved life, someone who always strove to achieve high performance in anything I took on…school, sports, my career, my relationships. I’ve only ever wanted to bring my best. It has always been part of my DNA, which fueled my drive to excel at sports at a young age and led to my dream of being a professional athlete being realized when I won a contract with Ice Follies/Holiday on Ice after high school.
Have you ever felt like you’ve lost sight of what matters or what makes your life meaningful?
My passion for high performance, competition, and testing my limits followed me throughout my undergraduate degree when I pursued competitive horseback riding while completing my studies. Twice, I competed at the World Championship level. Throughout my amateur and professional sports careers, I worked with performance coaches, something that would play a strong role in leading me to become a high performance coaching expert. So, coaching was a resource I used whenever I wanted to:
- Learn a new skill
- Elevate existing skills to a new level
- Achieve my dreams and goals
So, as I sat that day, one year and three weeks after losing my husband to cancer, and faced the blackness of the unknown of how to live and love a life as a young widow, I asked myself a critically important question:
What matters most to me now?
What matters most to me is being of service to others. Helping you by using the experiences, knowledge, wisdom, and skills I have acquired as a storyteller, writer, coach, professional athlete, filmmaker, project manager, teacher, healthcare advocate, dancer, and more to find what they most need to succeed, excel, and live and lead extraordinary lives of high performance. If I can help you achieve your goals with greater ease, faster, and create more opportunities with less stress, then I believe I am making the best use of the gift of my time here.
- We all have at least one gift that can help make a difference for others.
- When we follow our passion and our work aligns with our personal values, we create success for ourselves and help others to do the same.
- It is up to us to make the most of every moment, relationship, and opportunity.
For too many years after losing my husband to cancer, I felt like I had no choice. I was stuck in my grief, unable to look beyond it to see how I might turn that loss into something that would give it meaning and help me find a new purpose in life.
Going through iPEC’s coach training program and taking the Energy Leadership Index Assessment for the first time changed everything for me. I finally not only wanted to go on with my life but found the courage to walk away from a successful 20-year career in Hollywood and bring my coaching skills into healthcare.
Along the way, in search of meaning, I read “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl. In it, I found a quote that became a beacon of inspiration for me. Frankl said,
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
For me, it was like the moment in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy discovered she’d always had the power to return home. I took responsibility and began to make the changes in my own life that were necessary so that I could help others do the same.
Why healthcare now?
Because of an oncology nurse by the name of Karen. We called her our ‘angel’ as she provided every possible kind of support during my late husband’s treatments. She is just one of the many faces in healthcare who put their patients above all else, often at a detriment to themselves. Healthcare providers like Karen deserve access to:
- High performance coaching that also supports their personal wellbeing
- Education in coaching skills to enhance the care they deliver to patients, the support they provide to family members, and the teamwork they engage in with their fellow practitioners
- Training in presentation and speaking skills to advance their work and their careers to benefit those they care for, the organizations they work for, and so they can reach their highest potential personally and professionally
And it needs to happen now because now, more than ever, the stress, strain, and demands on healthcare providers threaten their ability to stay in it for the long run. We need to provide them with skills, tools, and resources to avoid compassion fatigue, burnout, and the impact of chronic stress. We must serve those who serve in healthcare now. My personal mission began with a focus on improving the lives of those touched by a cancer diagnosis. It has since grown to a larger vision and commitment to bring coaching skills into healthcare so we can create an ecosystem in which patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers are able to live their best lives, even in the face of demanding circumstances.
So, where does speaker training for healthcare professionals come in?
The funny thing about my love of performing is that, for many years, I had a deep fear of speaking in public. I used to say, as long as I don’t have to speak, I’m happy to be in the spotlight. So I know what it is like to be afraid to raise your hand in class and ask a question. I remember the deep sense of humiliation I felt when I froze, mid-speech in high school, in front of an audience of several hundred people. I experienced, first hand, what it is like to be held back professionally because of the anxiety of speaking in public.
When I became a coach, my desire to help others superseded my fears and I began to study and practice the art of public speaking. I have worked with Hollywood acting coaches, video coaches, and invested in speaker training programs to overcome my fears so I could learn to step onto any stage and speak authentically, powerfully, and with ease.
Over the past five years, I’ve attended hundreds of medical conferences and events often as a panelist, speaker, facilitator, or event chair. I’ve delivered many presentations and observed a large number of medical experts and scientific researchers stand on stage and present their work. While there are many well seasoned speakers in this group, there is a larger number of healthcare professionals who I see struggle with anxiety and fear, lack training in presentation skills, or who may feel proficient but want to take their speaking to the next level so they can create opportunities for:
- Educating more people about their important findings and expertise
- Collaborating with others who can contribute to their body of work
- Advance in their careers and receive the support they need to continue to grow their expertise to improve outcomes and patient experiences
By combining my personal experiences of loss, years of study, training, and living high performance strategies, and living a life filled with extraordinary moments, I help others move from the sidelines to become leaders in their own lives. There is nothing more important to me than this.